We have met outdoors for most of the summer to provide the least restrictive guidelines for our meetings. As the temperatures begin cooling, we are now moving permanently indoors. The guidelines and adjustments we had made for indoor services continue to apply. Please review all the information below so that you know all the guidelines. This has been a long process and seems likely to continue for some time. Thank you again for your patient endurance of these cumbersome guidelines.
We have again put much time and prayer into working through the requirements from the state and finding the best way to safely implement those requirements. We recognize the continued onerous nature of these requirements and that many of them are uncomfortable, so we have done our best to implement the requirements with the least inconvenience that we could. We also know that we have been dealing with these changes and adjustments for a significant time with no clear end in site. But while we may find these things difficult, they pose no difficulty for our Lord. They do not hinder his plans.
So let us have confidence in the plan of our sovereign God during this time. We can joyfully endure the difficult requirements in order to safely worship our magnificent savior together. We continue to ask that you extend patience, love, and grace to us and to your brothers and sisters in Christ as we meet in person. Thank you for your careful attention to these guidelines and for your cooperation.
Many of us have enjoyed meeting outdoors over the last few months. It has worked well and allowed us to meet in person while keeping the requirements as manageable as possible. As the weather cools and the temperatures would force us indoors more often, we are now permanently moving indoors for our meetings. We would like to provide consistency and as much normalcy as we can. We know the guidelines are more stringent and uncomfortable indoors.
Please remember these general guidelines. There are still many things that we used to do that we cannot do at this time. We will not be able to enter as we will nor will we be able to choose our seating location. Kids cannot run freely, but must remain with their parents at their seats. We must continue to refrain from handshakes and hugs. We cannot congregate in small groups to converse or fellowship as we are used. There are many inconveniences in meeting. But we are willing to be inconvenienced for the potential benefit of others as we seek to be faithful to the call of scripture to assemble together. We also ask that if you have any questions or concerns about meeting or about these guidelines, please let us know so that we can work with you.
Please continue to think carefully about attending services during this time. Remember that attending in spite of your conscience or judgement is not a demonstration of faith. We understand that the requirements are difficult. If any of the requirements would be too difficult for you or your family, please remain home. If you or a member of your family is in one of the higher risk demographics (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html#Higher-Risk), please remain home and do not attend. If you have are not feeling well, have any flu-like symptoms, or have recently been in contact with someone known to be positive for COVID-19, please remain home and do not attend.
As we continue to meet week after week under these requirements, it can be tempting to begin to give them inadequate attention or ignore them. We must not do that. These guidelines have been established by our state government. Scripture calls us to submit to these authorities, who have been instituted by God (Romans 13:1-2).
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. (Romans 13:1-2, 1 Timothy 2:1-3a)
We therefore diligently and joyfully abide by the guidelines set before us out of respect and in obedience to our Lord. We do not grow weary of doing good, but we persevere through trying circumstances. (2 Thessalonians 3:13, Galatians 6:9)
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior (1 Timothy 2:1-3a ESV)
We do not attend to these requirements only out of obligation. Instead, recognizing the wisdom in them and that their purpose is the protection of ourselves and those around us, we gladly take on the inconvenience for the benefit of the body of Christ and of our community. (Philippians 2:2-3, Romans 12:10, 1 Corinthians 10:24, Galatians 5:13-14, 1 Timothy 2:1-3a)
Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. (Philippians 2:2-3 ESV)
We also recognize that our response to these requirements is a witness of our Lord. Therefore, let our conduct be a worthy example to the community around us. We desire to be above reproach and should be known by the love that we have for one another. (Matthew 5:6, 1 Peter 3:15, Philippians 2:15)
That you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world (Philippians 2:15 ESV)
We will be meeting at 10:00 am every week. We will continue to provide an online registration method so that we know who and how many will be attending. This is very helpful in letting us know whether we will run into any capacity issues, so please register if you are planning to attend. You can find he registration information at reformingtruth.churchcenter.com
Please continue to park in front of the building and to maintain physical distance of at least 6 feet as you either enter the building or head to your seat outdoors. Someone will be on hand to direct you when you arrive.
We ask that you make every effort to avoid using the restrooms at church, but the first floor restrooms will be open during service if needed. When we meet indoors, we ask that you continue to use the restrooms on the first floor as the cleaning requirements would be a distraction during service. Restrooms will be limited to one person at a time and someone will be on hand to disinfect the restroom after each use.
We will not be offering childcare, either nursery or children’s church. Please evaluate how your children will handle this situation as you make your decision about attending. Remember that we are not concerned with kids interrupting service. We would rather you attend and have interruption then have you stay home if interruptions are your concern. The nursery room will be available for nursing moms only. If your children are used to having the coloring sheet during service, please bring the necessary materials, as we are unable to provide crayons, clipboard, or coloring sheet.
We will partake in communion each week. We will be providing materials, but the manner of distribution will be adjusted to ensure minimal contact. Please follow the directions given in service for communion.
We will not be placing the tithes box in an accessible location during this phase and ask that you continue to use the online giving functionality or mail a check to the church.
We will continue to broadcast the sermon via Facebook and upload the sermon audio as soon as we can.
Because we have to keep families physically distanced, we have a more limited number of seats than typical. We have about 45 seats. Because of the limited seating, we need everyone to register online. We will send the registration link via Facebook each week or you can always find it at https://reformingtruth.churchcenter.com under events. The doors will open at 9:45am and someone will direct you on where to sit. After service ends, we can fellowship indoors while maintaining the required distancing. We have set aside a large room, so that we can spread out while fellowshipping.
According to the guidelines from the state, when meeting indoors, face masks should be worn. Please bring a face mask each week in case we do need to meet indoors. Let us know if you need a face mask. If you have circumstances that prevent you from wearing a face mask, please let us know so that we can determine if any accommodations can be made.
We will have hand sanitizer on hand for your use.
Thank you for reviewing all of these guideline and for your cooperation in keeping them. Remember that these inconveniences will ultimately prove temporary and that they pale in comparison to the hardships the church has had to weather in the past or in other areas of the world. We remain excited about worshipping together. In summary, we’re meeting indoors at 10:00 am every week. We believe we continue to find the best way to meet while following the guidelines with the least inconvenience we could. As always, if you have any questions, please reach out to us.